‘This Is Us’ 4×02 Review: ‘The Pool Part Two”

This episode had an interesting title because season one’s “The Pool” is still one of my absolute favorite episodes ever. Although this one did not rank quite as high, there were still plenty of memorable Pearson moments worth talking about. I was totally Madison watching this episode. I swear that I cried so much.

Acceptance is the first step

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This week dived into the Pearsons starting to learn how to handle Jack’s disability. Being new parents is hard enough but Kate and Toby are parents to a blind infant. Some things have to be different. They hire a professional to baby proof the house and coach the family on how to raise Jack so that his life can be easier. But Kate and Toby are falling apart at the seams and the worst part is that they are on two opposite ends of the spectrum.




While Kate is starting to overeat again because of the stress, Toby is going hard at the gym in secret. She’s gaining weight and he’s losing his. They’re both sick right now and I think the only one who’s really noticed is Rebecca. Or maybe the others have to but they don’t know how to handle it. To be fair, neither does Rebecca.

I’m starting to think this might be what breaks up Toby and Kate’s marriage. Because it definitely seemed like they were broken up in the future. That’s just sad because a baby should’ve been something to bond them together even more, not rip them apart completely.

The good thing is that by the end of the episode, Kate seems to finally be able to accept her son’s disability. She also seems to let go a lot of the guilt she’d been carrying about it. She thinks Jack’s blindness is her fault because her pregnancy was so high risk. First of all, that’s crazy and so unfair. There is no way that anyone could’ve known. Also, Jack’s disability doesn’t make him any less of a person. Which is why I loved when Kate declared that her son was going to live a life without limits. She has no idea how right she is!

One-hundred and eighty seven

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That number seems so large. And yet, it’s not. That’s only six months.

But that’s also how many days Kevin’s been sober and how many days Jack’s been on this earth. It’s so sweet that the writers chose to coincide Kevin’s sobriety with Jack’s birth. One thing I love about this show is how everything always comes full circle. In the past, Papa Pearson told Kevin that he needed to find something or someone he cared about to make a change in his life. For Jack, he got sober for his wife and kids. It kind of looks like little Jack will be that for Kevin. I love that.

It gives us the impression that maybe those two will have a pretty incredible bond in the future. I do hope that is the case. I really hope that Kevin is there for Jack throughout his life. But we really don’t know what adult baby Jack’s relationship with the rest of the family is like yet.

Honestly, I just hope Kevin stays sober. Even if he spent most of the episode talking about a house plant, I don’t care. I like sober Kevin as much as I liked sober Jack. Let’s keep him on the right path, please. It’s been four seasons. I’ve been through the torture.

Learning to let go

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The rest of the Pearson clan is working on making Philly their new home. But they’re also dealing with young girls who are becoming little women. I know that’s hard for any parent, but it seems especially hard for Randall and Beth because they actually were pretty tight with their kids. The cool part of this episode is how well they paralleled Randall’s girls wanting to make their own path with the pre-teen Big Three in the past.

There comes a time in every parent’s life when they have to realize their kids aren’t just kids anymore. Life moves at a fast pace and either you get on board or your kids will leave you behind.

A lot of Randall and Beth’s arc this episode was them learning to let their daughters grow up and letting go so they can be their own person.

Tess wanted a new hair cut and Deja wants to take the bus to school.

When Tess came out of the closet to her parents last year, the moment earned a lot of praise from critics. Her new look is definitely a way for to establish who she’s going to be in a new city and school. I really hope they handle this part of coming out as well as they did last season.

And Deja wants to take the bus because the bus route is on the road that passes by the garage where Malik works. They’re already so cute and I ship it. I am concerned about how Randall is gonna handle his daughter crushing on someone who has a daughter of their own though. Maybe those two will meet each other half way because they have that in common.

But the thing that Beth and Randall do best together though is parenting so I’m not really worried. Those two really know how it’s done. And by the end of the episode, they’ve started to let their daughters be more of themselves. So I think they’re all going to come out of this okay. I hope so anyway.

Honestly though, where did these two learn to be such amazing parents? Oh right! They both had pretty amazing parents themselves. Those girls are so lucky they won the parental lottery.

Highlights

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  • All the flashbacks to the many pool days over the years with the Big Three. My heart! I wish Jack was still alive though. And I’m always going to wish that.
  • Kevin picking up baby Jack for the first time made me bawl.
  • I like that the episode revisited the pool but the flashbacks in this episode didn’t play that big of a role in the overall episode. Those scenes were there to add context to what was happening to the Big Three in the present. Randall had to learn to let his kids be who they are, Kevin had to choose to be better and Kate had to let go of the guilt she was carrying.
  • This episode was surprisingly funny. The show has a lot of funny moments but I found myself chuckling a lot this week.
  • I still love Madison. I want her as a best friend.
  • That M. Night Shyamalan cameo was amazing! Such a perfect stunt casting. I love how this show can bring in real life Hollywood people and it still makes sense.
  • Kate’s speech. I cried so much.
  • Remember when I didn’t like Toby but then I liked him? I’m back to being mad at him. Don’t lie bro. Just be honest with your wife! Damn!
  • I am so worried about Kate, especially because we haven’t seen her yet in the future.

This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9PM on NBC. Check out the trailer for next week’s episode below!




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